By Dela Ahiawor in Washington DC, USA
Climate activists at a protest rally on Earth Day 2023 in the U.S. capital, Washington DC on April 22 thundered out their aversion to President Biden’s recent dalliance with the fossil fuel industry.
The rally, staged at the “Freedom Plaza” in Washington, was followed by a march to the White House; where protesters delivered a giant book with personal messages to president Biden outside the White House.
Contrary to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign to phase-out fossil fuels, he recently stated that, the US will need oil for at least another decade. This provoked strong indignation from climate activists around the world. President Biden after pledging to ban new oil drilling on public lands and waters has now overtaken President Trump’s approval of new oil and gas development during his first year in office.
Speaking at the rally, Basav Sen, Climate Policy Director, Institute for Policy Studies called out President Biden for his new fossil fuel stance: “It is hypocritical for the US to claim to be a global climate leader while recklessly expanding fossil fuel production and exports.
Basav, continued: “We demand that the United States live up to its rhetoric by starting to phase out fossil fuel production, with a just transition for extraction -dependent communities and workers.”
According to Liv Schroeder, National Coordinator at Fridays for Future US, a viable 2024 Joe Biden re-election campaign will require the votes that are currently being alienated by an administration in bed with the fossil fuel industry. “Young people and front line communities deserve better.”
Climate change affects myriads of people across the globe, including the United States. For this reason, Earth Day protesters in Washington urged the US government and key decision makers to say no to further investments in fossil fuel and commit to a more sustainable future.
For her part Katharina Maier, organizer and national coordinator, Fridays for Future, US said: ” For us young people, the majority of our lives will be lived in the hellscape our so-called leaders and the corporations that fund them are responsible for creating. The climate crisis is no longer an abstract future or a news article about a far- off country. It’s here- it’s now.”
Saturday, April 22, 2023 marked the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day, the biggest environmental protest movement celebrated in more than 190 countries across the globe.
The theme for Earth Day 2023 was, “Invest in Our Planet.” Earth Day was founded in the U.S. in 1970 by American politician and environmentalist, Gaylord Anton Nelson after he witnessed the havoc caused by the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.